Asian Meatballs with Thai ‘Peanut’ Sauce

By December 21, 2021 December 30th, 2021 Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Paleo

These tender, well seasoned Asian Meatballs are dipped in a delicious, slightly sweet Thai sauce with a hit of spice. They make a fantastic appetizer or can be served as a main course with vegetables, rice or noodles. Paleo and gluten-free. 

Asian Meatballs with Thai 'Peanut' Sauce on plate with sauce

Meatballs are such a fun food. These meatballs are tasty little morsels with a combination of flavors that are quite complex and satisfying. The Thai dipping sauce is creamy with perfectly balanced flavors that enhance the meatballs. Traditionally this sauce is made with peanut butter but I prefer almond butter, it’s lighter and healthier. 

Asian Meatballs with Thai 'Peanut' Sauce on fork

These Asian meatballs are made with a combination of turkey or pork and shrimp to give them an authentic Chinese taste. Then they are seasoned with dried shiitake mushrooms, fish sauce, scallions, soy sauce, cilantro, white pepper and dark sesame oil to enhance the Asian flavor.

If using turkey or chicken use dark meat. The fat makes it more moist.  

Asian Meatballs with Thai 'Peanut' Sauce ingredients

Start by soaking the dried shiitake mushrooms in boiling water for at least 30 minutes. Make sure they are covered as they take up the water. Use a pair of scissors to cut off the stems as close to the mushroom cap as possible, they will reconstitute much faster without the stem.  You can also put them into a bowl of warm water in the morning and they’ll be soft by the time you’re ready to make dinner.

Health Benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms

They are loaded with protein and contain vitamins B2 and B12.

  • Balance your cholesterol. Shiitake mushrooms contain a substance called “eritadence” which will help your body to absorb cholesterol and lower the amount of cholesterol in your blood.
  • A rich source of selenium, iron, dietary fiber, protein, and vitamin C.
  • A powerful antioxidant.
  • Boost your immune system.

Make the Thai ‘Peanut’ Sauce first and allow it to sit for the flavors to develop.  

I buy already peeled wild caught shrimp from US Wellness Meats.  They are easy to use, sustainably harvested and chemical free.

Use a food processor to make it easy. Coarsely chop the shiitake mushrooms and shrimp, then process in a food processor until you get a paste.  If you don’t have a processor you can chop them by hand but it is a bit more work.

Once you have the paste add the scallions and cilantro. Pulse until they are just chopped. You’ll have a nice green paste.

Add the paste to a bowl along with the turkey or pork, tamari, fish sauce, white pepper, salt and sesame oil.

Asian Meatballs with Thai 'Peanut' Sauce meat mixture in bowl

At this point I find it best to use my hands to mix everything together until evenly combined. 

Form the mixture into 1 ½ -inch balls using about 1 ½ tablespoons of the meat. I use a heaping
1 tablespoon scoop to make it easy. 

Roll the mixture into round balls and arrange on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. You should end up with about a 20 little meatballs.

NOTE: If you want to taste the meatballs to check for salt before you make them into balls, heat up a small frying pan over medium heat and add a little coconut oil. When the pan is hot, form a little patty and cook it in the pan. Taste it to see if the seasoning is right. Adjust with additional salt if needed.

Asian Meatballs with Thai 'Peanut' Sauce raw on tray

Bake the meatballs for about 5 minutes and then broil for 5 minutes to get them nice and brown.  You can also cook them in an air fryer for 5-10 minutes.

Asian Meatballs on tray cooked

Leftover cooked meatballs store for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. They are delicious warmed up and served on salad the next day.

If you don’t want to cook them immediately, you can store the meatball mixture in the fridge for up to 12 hours.

These tasty morsels make an amazing appetizer at a party. They are are quick, easy, FUN and bursting with flavor. Everyone will love them. 

They are also good as a main dish served with vegetables, cauliflower rice or noodles. 

If you like this recipe you may also enjoy these other dishes.

Chicken Mushroom and Zucchini Meatballs

Quick and Easy Paleo Salmon Cakes with Avocado Cream

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Asian Meatballs with Thai ‘Peanut’ Sauce


  • Author: Ingrid DeHart
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings of 4 meatballs 1x

Description

These tender, well seasoned Asian Meatballs are dipped in a delicious, slightly sweet Thai sauce with a hit of spice. Paleo and gluten-free.


Ingredients

Scale

Asian ‘Peanut’ Sauce**


Instructions

  1. Soak your dried shiitake mushrooms in boiling water for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Cut off the hard stems, discard. Squeeze the water out of the shiitake mushrooms and coarsely chop them. You should have about 3 tablespoons. Put into a food processor.
  3. Coarsely chop the shrimp. Add to the food processor.
  4. Process the shiitake mushrooms and shrimp until you get a coarse paste.
  5. Add the scallions and cilantro and pulse until chopped.
  6. Place the meat into a large bowl. Add the shrimp-mushrooms-scallions-cilantro paste.
  7. Add tamari, salt, fish sauce, white pepper, and sesame oil.
  8. Use your hands to mix the meatball mixture until evenly combined.*
  9. Scoop out about 1 ½ tablespoons of the mixture and form into 1 ½-inch balls. I use a heaping 1 tablespoon scoop to make it easy.
  10. Use your hands to roll into round balls and arrange on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. You should end up with about a 20 little meatballs.
  11. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes until almost cooked through and then broil for 5 minutes to brown the top. You can also air fry at 375°F for 5-10 minutes.
  12. Serve warm or at room temperature with Asian ‘Peanut’ Sauce.

Asian ‘Peanut’ Sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste to adjust seasonings.
  2. Let sit for 15 minutes to allow flavors to combine.

Notes

If you want to taste the meatballs to check for salt before you make them into balls, heat up a small frying pan over medium heat and add a little coconut oil. When the pan is hot, form a little patty and cook it in the pan. Taste it to see if the seasoning is right. Adjust with additional salt if needed.

If you don’t want to cook them immediately, you can store the meatball mixture in the fridge for up to 12 hours.

Nutrition information is for 4 meatballs with sauce.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer, Main Dish
  • Method: Bake or Air-fry
  • Cuisine: Paleo, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Grain-Free

Keywords: asian meatballs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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